You are currently viewing How do social media platforms detect copyright music?

How do social media platforms detect copyright music?

Whenever it comes to posting online content, many have a problem with copyright claims. The field itself is quite hard because content creators have a huge list of points to accomplish if they want to keep their post, video or podcast online and not blocked. 

So let’s take a look at the main social media platforms and how they detect copyright content and music especially.


Instagram is one of the main tools for content creators to raise awareness about themselves, work they do and simply keep in touch with the audience they’ve gained on other platforms. So if you want to be creative on this social media, you must follow their guidelines and rules on copyrighted content. 

In general, Instagram has an automated system that detects copyrighted content in users’ posts, live shows or IGTV. Because the system is fully automated, mistakes and faults can happen but it wouldn’t stop the platform from taking down posts or videos entirely from users’ profiles. 

However, recently, Instagram improved the system and from now on, whenever copyrighted music is detected in the content, users receive a pop-up notification. It gives users time to either stop using the track or simply change it in their posts. 

But what can happen to your Instagram account if the system detects copyrighted content? 

  • The platform will mute the music in the post
  • If you’re broadcasting a track during a livestream, it will notify you to take the track down
  • Or it can take down your post entirely

The main difficulty with Instagram’s copyrighted system is that you never know what type of ‘punishment’ you will receive. Therefore, at Tunetank we believe that you should follow next rules to be away from any copyright problems on the platform:

  • Being a creator yourself, you can ask for permission to use a track in your video. The worst that can happen is you simply receive ‘No’ from a music owner, so don’t be afraid to use this tip!
  • If your appearance on Instagram is not yet giving you the freedom to approach musicians directly, you can give credit in your caption. It might not help you to get away from a copyright claim, but it definitely can help you in case you want to appeal. 
  • You can also use Instagram’s copyright free music called Facebook Sound Collection. Both these platforms have created a library of copyright-free music for their content creators to use. Therefore, if you use a track from this collection, you’re free of any worries. 
  • Use royalty free music. If Facebook free stock music is not about you and your content, you can find royalty free platforms. Such websites have a good range of different music that you can use without receiving a claim. Some of these platforms are free and some are available on a monthly subscription, but in any case, most of these allow you to use their tracks on different social media platforms.


In 2012 Facebook bought Instagram and from that moment all the rules and guidelines are quite similar for both platforms. It definitely makes the life of content creators easier because you don’t need to memorise each platform’s copyright laws. However, at the same time, it limits your freedom on any of these websites. 

Facebook might be a bit less strict on users’ stories and live streams but there are still rules you must follow to avoid your account blocking:

  • Make sure to always use a visual component in Facebook videos. The platform doesn’t allow you to use an audio file for a primary purpose. 
  • If you use a few tracks in your video on Facebook, your chances of receiving a copyright claim are pretty high. So make sure to use one track per video.
  • The platform is more friendly to short videos rather than huge livestreams for a few hours. Therefore, shorter clips are better

As it was mentioned, if your content doesn’t adhere to Facebook copyright rules, your account can be blocked. However, same as Instagram, the company created notifications alerts for users so that they have enough time to replace the copyright claimed music track or repost content with a proper soundtrack.

If it happened that Facebook still blocked your post or livestream, the platform will send you an instruction on the actions you need to take to release your content.  


YouTube is one of the most used platforms for content creation and, probably, one of the toughest in terms of copyright rules. Back in 2013, the company decided to start detecting copyrighted content in users’ videos. And from that moment, they came up with a list of rules each user must follow to stay away from copyright claims and strikes on their channel. 

The tool the platform uses is called Content ID and it’s a fully automated digitized tool on the YouTube platform that scans videos and notifies the rights holders, if their videos clips, images or audio have been used without their permission.

So what can happen to your content or channel if the system identifies copyrighted content in your video?

  • The content owner can block your video from the platform or from some regions and countries
  • The most popular Content ID setting is video monetization. Sometimes copyright owners do so with a possibility to share revenue with the content creators, most of the times you won’t be able to receive any payment for your flagged video. 
  • The last option for copyright holders is to track viewer data to get detailed analytics.

The last two options are acceptable for YouTube creators who are neutral about any profit from their videos and it’s easier for them to just upload their content the way it is. However, if YouTube is a platform you want to earn money on, you should follow its copyrighting rules and guidelines. 

Let’s take a look at some main ways you can manage your YouTube claims if you want to monetize your videos. Full list you can find in this article.

  • You can replace the song. In the YouTube Creator Studio, you will have a choice to replace a song or a melody you’ve received as a claim.
  • Use YouTube library tracks. YouTube music library is a great choice because you’re definitely free of any copyright claims and strikes. It also helps you to worry less about a great sound for your project.
  • You can also just trim out the copyrighted segment. Usually, it works if the clip is not affecting the whole concept of the video and you won’t lose any valuable information.

These are the main steps you can take to avoid copyright violation on Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. If you found the article insightful, share it with your friends and followers!

Tunetank is a royalty-free music library for content creators. Edit Page